It has become a tradition in our library for all of Year 9, on February 14 each year, to take part in ‘Speed Dating’. Books are pre-selected from all genres with appropriate but varying levels of reading.
Senior students observing the ‘set-up’ this morning could be heard reminiscing about their own experiences doing this three years ago. Clearly it was memorable and favourable!
Statistics are kept from the ‘rating’ sheets to make a display of most popular ‘dates’ and many students come back for second dates.
Library’s Lovers day!!
By Hayley B (Year 9 student)
Today was Library’s Lover’s Day 9. Our English class made their way down to the IRC where we stood behind a table, which was very prettily decorated, and which made us feel as if we were in a restaurant with our date sitting there staring at us. On the table next to our ‘date’ we had a cute red heart chocolate. Everyone was nervous for their first date, sitting down and opening to the first page and getting to know all about their date. After four minutes everyone rated their date and moved on to a new date and did the same thing all over again.
I think being at Library Lovers Day today was a great experience for everyone to perhaps find the right book for them, one which suits them best or maybe not even finding the right date at all but reading a variety of books.
Lunch time in the IRC was ‘mayhem’ today as students tried to find and purchase the books Murray had shown them yesterday.
After school, parents arrived and many happy little customers went home to read new books, carrying new posters and armed with new pencils, Biros, erasers and other somewhat useful equipment.
Some Mums left the IRC patiently listening to joke after joke from their child’s new joke book.
Yesterday we held a combined Book Week and National Literacy Day event for the Junior School (Years Prep-6). The day began with The Great Parade of Champions reflecting the theme for Book Week “Champions Read”. This was held in the Sports Centre – appropriately decorated with an Olympic theme. Parents and Grandparents then stayed to read their favourite children’s books to students in the classrooms.
The classes were all rostered in Stage Groups to come to the IRC throughout the day to have a book talk and a story and activity from one of this year’s CBCA Short Listed Books. The books were read and discussed using our new Interactive Whiteboard with web camera attachment.
For the Senior School (Years 7-12) we launched our eBook collection (Wheelers Books) with an invitation to log in on their devices and become Champion Readers!
More photos of Book Week activities and displays here
The English Department organised a Shakespeare Day for all Secondary Students yesterday. Every High School English class studied a work of Shakespeare last term.
Students and all the teachers took part in activities set up for each year group in different areas of the school. Within each group, performances of the play they had studied took place followed by rotating activities based on the play for that group.
Of course the final activity was a feast of gigantic proportions! Most students and teachers ‘dressed up’ for the occasion and here are two of our PDHPE staff dressed as Romeo and Juliet!
Why not use these holidays to inspire a love of reading. Activities that bring a story to life can also bring a family closer together. The Book Chook blog has a post this week full of ideas of how to do this.
Zoe Toft says she “Plays by the book” because
- it’s fun!
- it gives me a focus and outlet for my desire to be creative
- it helps me find a mutually enjoyable way of being with the kids
- it shows the kids how much I value the bookShe goes on to explain ways to bring a book to life with three failsafe activities
Here is a list of 43 tools and activities for students – to make learning fun at the same time as exercising your brain!
Cool Tools to Engage Your Brain over the Summer curated by Lisa Johnson provides activities from across most KLAs with a bent towards K-6 students but with many applications for older students as well.
Thursday 24 May was Grandparents Day – It has been a busy week in the IRC!
Grandparents’ Day is always a special time here. Students from the P-6 section of the school eagerly bring their grandparents into the IRC to share this amazing place with them. The whole building is filled with children sitting with their grandparents looking at books, displays or just relaxing together.
We boost our collection each year by offering books for sale for grandparents to donate back to the IRC on behalf of their grandchild. This year, again, we received more than two thirds of our selected new books back as donations.
Many grandparents were very interested in the direction taken with Information (Non Fiction) books for children these days, with their many illustrations and limited but pertinent text. All of these particular books were sold quickly and added to our collection.
Yesterday we celebrated reading and picture books by taking part in the National Simultaneous Storytime event. Right across Australia, in schools and public libraries, children gathered to read The very cranky bear by Nick Bland at 11:00AM.
Three Kindergarten classes came to the IRC where they were enthralled to see and hear the story unfold through the use of the iPad App “The very cranky bear” which was screened on the Smart Board.
…after which the children heard the story again – taking the part of the bear. Roars of sixty very “cranky bears” filled the IRC followed by the appearance of Happy Bear masks at the end of the story.
Not many of the thirty Senior Year 12 students “studying” in the IRC did much work that period – they also chose to enjoy the experience!
Playing with Play dough can be turned into a science lesson for the very young. In her TED talk, AnnMarie Thomas describes how to make a circuit using the normal Play dough recipe containing salt then adding into the ‘game’ some playdough made with sugar.
“Play dough can be used to demonstrate electrical properties — by lighting up LEDs, spinning motors, and turning little kids into circuit designers.”
In 1955 Maurice Saxby was the second Teacher Librarian ever to be appointed to a school in New South Wales. He has inspired teachers and Teacher Librarians for many years and his book “Give them wings” impelled many to offer exciting opportunities for children to experience literature.
He spoke of his own encounter with books and reading as a young boy and told us of the influence of the special teachers he had as a child – who inspired in him a love of literature simply by reciting a poem or leading a discussion. Teachers, parents and even ‘Nannas’ still do this today but we now have at our fingertips so many rich resources to extend these experiences even further.
Maurice told us why reading literature is important: “Apart from what we see about human beings when we read and what we find out about life, we’re attuned to story and to the shape of story and to the way words work.”
The night of the awards I went to stay at the home of my son where I regularly read books to my two granddaughters and we make up and enact imaginary stories. With renewed energy to instill a love of literature and reading into the lives of these two little girls, aged two and four, I seized hold of opportunity and here is what enfolded the next morning.
As usually happens, the four year old commandeered my iPad to open a folder full of books and activities selected for her. The younger two year old went for my iPhone where she too knows how to open relevant folders and spends a lot of time looking at family photos and videos of herself in particular! This photo was not “set up”!
Miss Four had, on a previous occasion, asked me to get the “Playschool App” as she had seen it advertised on Playschool and it had cool puzzles in it! I had done so and she now was looking at a previous episode of Playschool she had found on the app – streamed live from the ABC website. She was watching the reenactment of “The Hare and the Tortoise” and we discussed the meaning of the fable and the saying “Slow and steady wins the race”.
I was a little dismayed to find there was no print copy of the story in this home to read to the girls – Nanna will have to rectify that!
Later I took the girls outside to play.
“Lets play races”, said Miss Four…
”I’ll be the tortoise and you can be the hare,” she said to her little sister.
“Well, we’ll need a washing basket and some ears,” I said. So she ran off and came back with some ears out of the dress-up box – left there from Easter bunnies last year. The washing basket was emptied and straps were attached to it by her mother.
With very little help from Nanna the story was enacted – again and again! The little hare asleep on the mound of the basketball stand was just beautiful… then she awoke just in time to see the Tortoise win the race!
Later in the day when the technology was again “picked up” Miss Four asked if there was a book app for the Hare and the Tortoise. I found a traditional version with original pictures as well as a more modern version. Both offered read-a-loud support and some interactivity. A couple of dollars later we read both versions together and Miss Four mastered all the activities – while Miss Two once again watched herself in family videos on my phone.
An exhausted Nanna was sure by the end of the day that both girls had encountered literature in many engaging ways – a day we will all remember! Thank you Maurice!
Students – this link is for you: Do you like online games and activities?
Are you interested in
- forensic science
- investigating drugs of abuse or how alcohol affects the brain and body systems
- the scientific method
- infectious diseases
- careers in science (virtual activities)
….. this site is for you to explore these holidays! It offers an interactive fun-filled adventure in learning.
This free tool allows a 3D view of the human body and it’s systems – from any angle and any size. It is necessary to use a good browser such as Firefox or Chrome. Similar iPad Apps are available but are expensive and for the average student with only computer access this free tool is certainly adequate.